Free Apps May be To Blame for High Power Consumption on Smartphones
If your smartphone is always low on battery, dozens of free apps you installed previously may be to blame. Researches show that free apps collect data and serve ads frequently resulting in continuous use of hardware. These apps may use GPS and 3G connection consistently, resulting in excessive power usage.
Most mobile platforms offer a brief breakdown of which apps and resources are consuming the power, such as display, Bluetooth, WiFi, applications and others.
Tracking power consumption of individual apps is quite straightforward, as researchers can determine the amount of power used by comparing the battery level before the app is started and after it is closed. Tracking power usages of hardware components is more subtle as many apps enable hardware without turning it off immediately; some may even leave 3G connection and WiFi in a fully-activated state after the application is closed.
Many apps also prevent components to sleep after a period of use, for example video playback apps normally keep the display awake when they play movies for hours.
The sloppy and somewhat irresponsible programming method of letting hardware components to stay activated; means power consumption increases significantly until the phone is physically restarted.
If you find yourself getting low-battery warning at 5 PM, it may be a good idea to remove free apps that you no longer use and if you use some of these apps often, it could be the right time to support the developer by getting the energy-efficient, ad-free version of the app.